Friday, December 14, 2012

Sorry I am late in getting this out. Saturday, December 15, 2012 will be the Guild Holiday party from 11am - 1pm at Mosaic in Blacksburg. Come out and join us for a fun time. Bring a goody to share and a gift up to $15 value to exchange (does not have to be knitting related). If you have not renewed now is the time. If you know someone who does not use a computer please share this with them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Solstice Sign-Ups

We need to man the booth from 1pm to 8pm on Saturday.  Rachel and I will fill in where needed, but we can't do it alone!  The more the merrier. :) Come out and have some fun with local kids as a fiber arts ambassador.  (What?  People still make things with their hands?!)

I'll fill this out as I get volunteers.

6pm-7pm:  6:30 Christina T

Thursday, May 24, 2012

First Annual Teddybear Fashion Show!

Devon's sheep-in-a-sweater
As previously mentioned, we'll be having this event on Saturday, June 2nd, in the community room at the Christiansburg Library. It'll run from 2-4 p.m.

Who is invited: everyone! This even will be open to the public, not just guild members, so bring your family and guilt your friends into showing up!

What we need you to do: bring yourself, your knitting, and maybe a small snack and anyone else who wants to come along. Some people have already signed up to bring finger-food style snacks and drinks.

If you want to bring a stuffed animal to donate or decorate, awesome! The guild will also have a limited number of teddy-bear t-shirts available to be decorated at the event, if your animal is sadly naked.

We have a few naked stuffed animals (bears and dogs, mainly) stashed at Mosaic who still need outfits. Knitted (crocheted! sewn!) outfits can be as elaborate as a little sweater, or as simple as a scarf. The animals will be on display for a while at the Library before they're donated to local Fire and Rescue.

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Save that Date!

We have got a lot going on in the month of June. Here's a fast rundown of events.

Sat. June 2-- The First Annual Teddy Bear Fashion Show! From 2-4 p.m. at the Christiansburg Library, in the community room. Here's a quick run-down of the event, it'll get a separate post later.  Any dressed up stuffed animal is accepted, not just bears. No, you don't have to knit it a sweater, a hat or scarf would be fabulous. We still have some naked donated animals, or you can bring your own. Bring a finger-food snack, your knitting, and your family! We'll also have some teddy-t-shirts for kids to decorate.
All the animals will be donated to the Blacksburg Fire and Rescue, after a display period in the library.

Sat. June 9-- World Wide Knit in Public Day! It's also our regular Block Party, so we're just moving location. More details about where that is when we get closer to the day-of.

Sat. June 16-- Our regular Guild Meeting, but this time with a focus on spinning to prepare us for the Tour de Fleece.  We'll have demos and you'll get an up-close look at wheels and spindles.

Sat. June 23-- We'll have a booth at the Summer Solstice Fest, in dowtown Blacksburg.  It's a kid friendly event. We are going to be fiber-ambassadors. Our booth will have some activities (spinning demo, potholder looms, other fun-with-yarn simple crafts), different fibers to play with, and information about the different fibers.
Let us know here or on Ravelry if you have any ideas or if you want to booth-sit for an hour.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Save the Date!

On June second, the guild will be having our first annual Teddybear Fashion Show!

The TBFS will be in the community room at the Christiansburg Library, from 2-4 p.m. That's a Saturday.

We’re still collecting stuffed animals (new or very gently used) to gussie up. And not just bears! I know we have several dogs and at least one pig.

Keep an eye on this space, and on Ravelry,  because more details are coming soon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book Review: Taking things one at a time....

Picture obviously from
The books are One Ball Knits, the purses collection and gifts collection, and One-skein Knitting: 30 quick projects to knit and crochet.

Each of the One Ball books has 20 patterns that only use one skein/hank/ball of yarn to complete. The first chapter of each book covers yarn basics and knitting techniques. 

Purses is full of (surprise!) purse patterns.  All patterns include instructions for lining and finishing the purses.The purses are everything from clutches, messenger bags, and drawstring purses, all the way up to hobo-style bags and other fashion-forward options.

Gifts has a, uh,... let's call it an "interesting" selection of things to make. Some of the patterns look very nice: a baby pullover, decorative pillows, some really great looking slippers. Others are a bit on the whimsical side: a hot-water bottle cozy, a vase cover, a knitted rectangle that you starch and use as a bowl. Don't get me wrong, they're for the most part very attractive patterns. Those last three though, are things that I'm not entirely sure someone would appreciate receiving as a gift. The gloves, socks, or the slippers (did I mention the slippers? sooooo cute!) would probably go over much better.

One thing I should mention about both of these books is that the patterns all call for a lot of finishing. Basic sewing skills are definitely needed. Plus money to buy things like purse handles, beads, embroidery floss, foam, lining fabric, ribbon, and, in one case, fake fur.

Now on to One-Skein, by Leigh Radford.

Of the 30 patterns, the following are crochet: a hat, a scarf, three small purses, a bath mitt, and a bathmat. The knitting patterns range from three baby patterns, leg warmers, the traditional hat/scarf/glove patterns, to some odd stash-busters. The latter bunch include knitted cupcakes, a pom-pm scarf, and an interesting rug. More normal options are a few nice looking bags/purses.

Overall, I'd say it's not a bad choice if you have one skein of stuff floating around in your stash and you want to get it out of there. Several of these projects would be fast knits that are good to have around for emergency presents.

Copies reviewed from the Christiansburg Library

Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Review: Knit One, Kill Two

The book is Knit One, Kill Two, by Maggie Sefton.

Book one of the Knitting Mysteries series, this book introduces Kelly Flynn. In the process of trying to settle her late aunt's affairs back home in Colorado, Kelly ends up solving the aunt's murder and learning to knit.

When Kelly's aunt, Helen, decided to downsize her ranch, most of the land was sold off to a golf course. Helen moved into the MIL's house and the company that bought the land rented the main house to a yarn shop and a cafe, a deadly combination if you ask me. Anyway, Helen was a regular at the yarn store, so Kelly is persuaded to drop in for a tour. She ends up visiting again and again to sit and talk, eventually getting bullied into learning to knit.

Each book seems to have both a recipe and at least one knitting pattern in the back. The two patterns in this book are really simple, suiting the skill level of the new-knitter protagonist. The first is just a garter stitch scarf done in chunky yarn; a perfect project for someone who just learned how to hold needles. The second pattern is called Lambspun's Whodunnit Shell (I bet the names of these are going to be a ton of fun). The directions span 5 sizes, with very simple directions in bulky yarn. Good project for a new knitter, or someone in need of emergency knitwear.

Oh yeah, and the cinnamon bun recipe looks killer.

A fast read, pretty straightforward. Lots of descriptions of yummy yarn and a hilarious trip to a fiber festival. The knitting is dead-on, and the mystery isn't bad, either. I'd say this is a promising start to a series.

Copy from Christiansburg Public Library

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Introducing Fieldtrips!

I'd like to introduce a new series of blog posts: Fieldtrips.
The point of these are to let everyone know about the cool/fun/interesting things at local yarn, fiber, and craft stores. Short (medium, long) reviews, hopefully with some pictures and a general idea of what sort of things the store sells. Something so that readers can get the feel of the shop, the atmosphere.

If you want to write a post about a store you've visited, let us know! Guest posts are a lot of fun and we want some on our blog.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

NRVCares Blanket Finished!

We did it!

Right before blocking
Thank you to everyone who made squares, you are all awesome. This project was finished in record time, all because of you! A very special thank you to our president, Devon, who not only did all the organizing for this project (dividing up all the yarn into those little bags), but also seamed it all together.

Sorry the colors are a bit off in the pictures, I need to take a photography course!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The cool kids were all there

Blogger has decided it hates Devon right now, so she asked me to post this for her:
At this month's Block Party, we worked on a blanket to be auctioned off at NRV Cares' fundraising gala in February.  We knit a whole bunch of blocks, and Dana read a knitting chart for the first time.  Way to go, Dana!

P.S. from Rachel:
Were you at the Guild Meeting earlier today?  I wasn't, I admit. But I'm trying to change my work schedule to fix that.
Anyway, check out pictures from the meeting that Gina posted on our FB page! (Facebook)
 Hm, I just realized that with the title of this post, I'm not one of the cool kids. But you guys still love me, right?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crocheted Clouds

 Now interrupting our regularly scheduled programming to bring you a project where art, craft, and science collide. Ciro Najle is usually an architect; he designed this piece, which took several people to execute.
Najle says crochet is the perfect medium for representing fractal structures because its surfaces can be subdivided again and again by varying the length of neighbouring crochet lines . . . The sculpture comprises crocheted squares, each of which has an individual pattern modelled by Najle, who generated 1664 different diagrams pinpointing the intersections of the woollen strands, the crochet knots that are key to its structure.

To see more pictures, go to Le Labratorie's blog, here.  More about the exhibit (which apparently includes experiments with different yarns) can be found on New Scientist, here.

 (Originally found via io9)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mitered Square using Yarn Overs

Rachel demoed this block at December's meeting, and we're using it to make a blanket for the family of Officer Crouse, the officer who was killed at VT in December.

The mitered (or mitred) square block is formed such that there's a diagonal lined running from corner to corner.  Each row looks like it "turns the corner" along this diagonal.  There are many variations on the mitered square, but the one we've chosen for our afghan uses increases -- specifically yarn overs -- on every other row.

Mitered Square afghan block:

Size US 8 needle
Please use a slip stitch edge.  An easy way to do this is to slip the first stitch of every row purlwise with yarn in front, then bring the yarn to the back to continue knitting the row.  (You can learn more about slip stitch edges here.)

CO 3
Row 1: k1, pm, k1, pm, k1
Row 2: k1, yo, sm, k1, sm, yo, k1
Row 3: knit across
Row 4: knit to first marker, yo, sm, k1, sm, yo, knit to end
Row 5: knit across

Repeat rows 4 and 5 until the piece measures 8" on a side (approximately 25 repeats).
Bind off loosely.
Weave in ends and block to 8" square.

Some Notes:
  • Your block might look more like a kite when you cast off.  This is okay, and I might say even normal.  Blocking helps, and so does sewing these squares together into a larger project, like an afghan.
  • One benefit of using increases to create a mitered square is that you can keep knitting until it's the size you need.
If you're interested in exploring mitered squares more, they can be used to create some dazzling effects, such as in Mason-Dixon Knitting's Mitered Crosses Blanket, their striped Mitered Square Blanket, or something simpler like a coaster made of scrap yarn.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Slipped Stitch Edges

A slipped stitch edge is also known as a slip stitch edge or chain edge.  Instead of "edge", you could also say "selvedge".

Why use a slipped stitch edge?  It makes an even, non-bumpy edge that can make items like scarves look a bit more tailored.  Another benefit is that it makes joining afghan blocks easier, as the edge stitches are well-defined.

How do you do a slipped stitch edge?  There are three main ways to do it.  The first two look the same, and the third is a bit different.  It's a matter of preference.

* Slip the first stitch purlwise & knit the last stitch
* Slip the first stitch knitwise & purl the last stitch
* Slip the first stitch purlwise & knit the last stitch through the back loop (ktbl)
[Alternatively, some people prefer to slip the last stitch of a row & knit/purl the first.  Again, a matter of preference.]

TECHknitting has good explanation of that last one, complete with diagrams (I love diagrams), and the video up top shows them all in action.

Happy slipping. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Great knitting techniques blog

Being one who loves the detail work of knitting, like choosing just the right increase or executing invisible seams, I'd like to give a shout-out to my favorite knitting blog:  TECHknitting.

The author has been blogging since 2006, giving detailed and well-illustrated explanations of a wide range of knitting techniques.  There is a detailed index of the site by topic, which comes in handy when you're looking for, say, cast-ons and bind-offs, info on ribbing, or maybe the low-down on stripes (particularly jogless stripes).

Personally, I had trouble weaving in ends until I read some her tricks.  There's even a list of ten ways to work in ends, 8 of which or as-you-go.  There's bound to be something new or useful here for everyone, from beginners to seasoned crafters.  Do you have a favorite knitting blog you'd like to share?